Travertine Flooring - The Alternative You Might Have Overlooked

If you haven't considered travertine flooring for your home, it may be because a certain refrain overshadadows this attractive option: porcelain, porcelain, porcelain. You may have heard that over and over when it comes to hard surface flooring, but there are a number of natural stones such as granite, marble, slate, and travertine that can be just as good. Traver what? Travertine.  Travertine is a natural alternative that creates an elegant atmosphere in almost any room. Neutral colors found in travertine allow for an array of color schemes, and once you have seen a properly installed travertine floor in a home you may wonder how you've overlooked this option so far.

A Natural Variation

Travertine has many characteristics that make it a beautiful alternative for your flooring, from the most formal area in the house to the most casual. Travertine is pourous and has holes that are filled to give it a consistent, smooth surface to make it, "honed," travertine. There are also applications in which the holes are left open, adding a different effect. Travertine is a natural product, and therefore its color will not be consistent from one tile to another. Variation in shade and color tone gives travertine a distinctive appeal, often accented by chiseled edges.

Some Tips for Installation

If your considering installing travertine yourself, there are a few differences between this material and traditional ceramic or porcelain tiles you need to be aware of.  First, as a base to secure the tile, use white thin-set instead of gray. White thin-set is mixed and applied the same as gray and is used to avoid compromising the natural color of the stone. When grouting travertine, or any natural stone, use un-sanded grout to prevent scratching. Unlike ceramic tile and porcelain, travertine must also be sealed, and consider that enhancers can be applied to bring out color and natural characteristics of the stone. Depending on foot traffic, travertine will need to be re-sealed every one to two years.

The choices seem endless when selecting the right hard surface floor. Wood, tile, and natural stone floors can all be distinctive and long lasting. Travertine, with its neutrality and elegance, makes a great alternative that shouldn't be overlooked.